WSOP 2021: Zinno, Lazrus top POY, Velo leaderboards as series passes halfway mark

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: October 31, 2021 8:58 pm EDT

More than half of the 2021 World Series of Poker is in the books, and both of the series’ leaderboard races remain wide open. The long-running WSOP Player of the Year (POY) chase finds Anthony Zinno just ahead of his closest competitors, while Daniel Lazrus currently tops the No Limits Velo Leaderboard, also by a narrow margin.

The two leaderboards offer a strikingly different assortment of players, with each board’s top 10 including no one similarly ranked on the other board. Velo leader Lazrus currently ranks 12th on the traditional POY board. He’s just ahead of Jason Koon (second on Velo, 12th on POY).

None of the top POY rankers are anywhere near the top of the Velo board at this stage. Of the current top 10 in the POY, only 10th-place Ryan Leng even makes the top 100 on the Velo board. Leng currently ranks 65th in the Velo chase, which includes only no-limit hold’em events.

Zinno retakes POY lead from Hellmuth

The past three weeks have featured a back-and-forth battle for the top spot in the POY chase between Anthony Zinno and Phil Hellmuth. Both players have won bracelets already this autumn, but a deep run by Zinno in the no-limit 2-7 draw championship gives him the current edge. Zinno just missed the final table in that event, and he currently leads Helmuth by less than 30 points, 2,627.88 to 2,598.99.

The hidden story of the current POY standings, however, is that Hellmuth currently ranks third, not second. Wedged just behind Zinno at the top of the standings is Jake Schwartz. Schwartz hasn’t captured bracelet gold as yet this series, but he’s logged an impressive five final tables and 12 overall cashes in October.

Schwartz’s five final-table runs include two seconds, a third and a fifth, plus a seventh-place showing in the same deuce-to-seven event where Zinno recently took 10th. All those results give Schwartz 2,614.45 POY points to date, less than 14 points behind Zinno.

As tight as the top three POY spots are at the moment, fourth and fifth aren’t much further behind. Shaun Deeb’s triumph in Event #53: High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed) bumped him into fourth place on the POY board, at 2,470.69. And in fifth, with 2,214.41, is another 2021 bracelet winner, Ari Engel.

The top 10 on the WSOP’s POY leaderboard as of October 31st:

  1. Anthony Zinno – 2,627.88
  2. Jake Schwartz – 2,614.45
  3. Phil Hellmuth – 2,598.59
  4. Shaun Deeb – 2,470.69
  5. Ari Engel – 2,214.41
  6. Dylan Linde – 2,053.09
  7. Jeremy Ausmus – 2,007.86
  8. Daniel Negreanu – 2,004.86
  9. Tommy Le – 1,968.40
  10. Ryan Leng – 1,964.18

Lazrus, Koon, head Velo chase

The race on the No Limits Velo board is tight as well, though not as extreme as in the POY battle. Millionaire Maker winner Lazrus has picked up three more cashes since his career-best payday. That’s allowed him to overtake Koon, who won the Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship earlier in the series.

Lazrus currently enjoys roughly a 55-point lead over Koon, 1,721.70 to 1,666,20. It’s another 80 points back to third-place Bin Weng, who’s currently the highest-placed non-bracelet winner on the Velo board. As with Schwartz in the POY chase, Weng has strung together several nice showings. He’s cashed six times this series, including three final tables in no-limit events.

The top 10 on the No Limits Velo leaderboard as of October 31st:

  1. Daniel Lazrus – 1,721.70
  2. Jason Koon – 1,666.20
  3. Ren Lin – 1,586.60
  4. Bin Weng – 1,525.72
  5. Scott Ball – 1,493.40
  6. Anthony Denove – 1,481.75
  7. Pete Chen – 1,470.58
  8. Michael Noori – 1,376.27
  9. Dalibor Dula – 1,317.32
  10. Carlos Chang – 1,301.45

(Data source: https://www.wsop.com/2021/poy/)

Both leaderboard races award a total of $25,000 each, split among the top three finishers.

Featured image source: Haley Hintze